Gaming is one of the most popular things in the world today with many people around the world getting stuck into one game or the other. In the anime industry, we’ve seen storylines built around a gaming character, or rather, let me put it this way, we’ve seen anime adaptations related to gaming, video games, or even gamers. These adaptations or stories about games or gamers build added excitement for viewers’ especially game lovers or video gamers.
There are many anime with stories centered on games or in one way or another has a connection with the subject. Some of these anime rank well generally and can even be put in the same statement with other top anime series. In the next subheads, I’ll be taking you through the 25 best gaming anime about video games and gamers.
25. Persona 5: The Animation (2018)
The movie is about Ren Amaniya, who has just been transferred to Shujin Academy following his probation at his former school for defending a woman from sexual assault. On his first day, he notices a new app on his phone which turns out to be something of a portal and takes him to a place called the Metaverse. The series follows how Ren goes on to try and save other people in the Metaverse and the shortcomings he faced during the process.
It started airing in April 2018 and ended in September 2018. The studio in charge was CloverWorks.
24. And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online (Netoge No Yome was Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta) (2016)
The anime series is an adaptation of the first four novels of the same title by Shibai Kineko. The story follows a gamer, Rusian, who proposes to a girl in an online game only for her to reject him. He also eventually finds out it was a man posing as the girl. Later on, Rusian finds love again in another gamer even though he’s worried it could be a man. To his surprise, the other members of the game are his classmates.
The series aired in April 2016 and stopped in June 2016. The studio in charge was Project No. 9.
23. Gamers! (2017)
The series is about Keita Amano, an average student in high school and also a gamer. He is soon recruited by the school’s best student to join the same club and work together to develop some games.
The airing started in July 2017 and ended in September 2017. The studio in charge is Pine Jam, with Sony Pictures being a part of the production team.
22. Girlish Number (2016)
The story follows college student Chitose Kawasuma who is not interested in doing boring things as she prepares for adulthood. She soon lands a job at a company managed by her brother, Gojou. There, she learns that she needs to do more to succeed as it wasn’t like she expected following clashes with other girls in the company and also failing to get major roles.
The anime series aired between October 7th, 2016 to December 23, 2016 with Diomedea being the studio in charge of the series.
21. Magic Of Stella (2016)
The movie centers around Tamaki Honda, who has just enrolled in high school. He later joins a club where games are made. He teams up with other members of the club as he bids to develop an illustration for the club’s next game.
It aired from October 3, 2016, to December 19, 2016. The studio in charge of the series is Silver Link.
20. Yu Gi Oh (1998)
The series follows the story of Yuugi Mutou, who is often bullied though sometimes he has friends who stand up for him. Yuugi has a millennium puzzle that he found in his grandfather’s game shop and upon completion, he unleashes the soul of the “King of Games” in him. This new personality makes Yuugi different and to battle out injustice, he sets up a ” Shadow Game” where losers will have a taste of the darkness in their hearts.
The series is pretty old and aired in April 1998 and ended in October 1998. The studio in charge was Toei Animation.
19. Sword Art Online (2012)
The series is set in 2022 where virtual reality has become quite a big deal. A massive online role-playing game called Sword Art Online gets launched and users can control their avatars simply with their own thoughts. The story follows Kazuto “Kitito” Kirigaya, who happens to be part of the first group to play the game. Kirito and several other players soon get trapped by the game’s creator until they can finish all hundred levels of the game. Together with some other players, he teams up with, Kirito must adapt to his new reality and fight for survival in a bid to escape, as a death in the game means death in real life.
The series aired between July 2012 and December 2012. The studio in charge of the series was A-1 Pictures.
18. Accel World (2012)
The anime series follows the story of Harayuki Arita, who is constantly bullied in middle school but finds solace in playing online games. This soon changes when he finds his score gets topped by Kuroyukhime, the vice president of the student council. She then introduced him to “Brain Burst”, a program that allows users to accelerate their brain waves to a point where time seems to stop. It also doubles as an augmented reality fighting game where users will have to win duels to get more points. Kuroyukhime then tells Haruyuki her plan to get to meet the creator of the program to uncover the reason why it was created but first she has to reach level 10 before which she’ll have to defeat the powerful Faction leaders within the game.
It aired between April 2012 and September 2012. The studio in charge of the anime series was Sunrise.
17. Kakegurui (2017)
It aired from July 2017 to September 2017. The studio in charge of the series was Mappa.
The story is built around Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school that prepares students for their time in the real world. In the morning, it is a normal school, but at night, it turns into a gambling den where students are taught about money dealings and the art of manipulating people. Soon, a transfer student, Yumeko Jabami, joins, and her style of gambling could change the course of the school.
16. Btoom! (2012)
It aired between October 2012 and December 2012. The studio in charge of the series was Madhouse.
The series follows the story of Ryouta Sakamoto whose only real achievement was being Japan’s top player in a popular video game name Btoom! He soon gets drawn into a reality that looks likes the game without any idea of how he got there. Players are to kill seven other players and redeem their green crystals in order to return home. Ryota has to team up with a fellow player, Himiko, as they try to escape and also find out the real truth behind the reality they found themselves.
15. Recovery of an MMO Junkie (2017)
The anime series aired between October 2017 to December 2017, with the studio in a charge being SignaLMD.
The story follows Mariko Marika who is now unemployed after quitting her job of 11 years. To make use of her free time, she ventures into the gaming world and reinvents herself as “Hayashi” in the MMO Fruits de Mer. There she meets a healer, Lily, and they become friends. As time goes on, Moriko continues to get stuck in the game and only leaves her apartment when necessary. The series follows her story and how she eventually meets with a corporate worker, Yuuta Sakurai, who is also playing the game.
14. D-Frag! (2014)
It aired between January 2014 to March 2014. The studio in charge of the series was Brain’s Base.
The story follows Kenji Kazama, who is the gang leader of the Kazama family, a group of three close friends. The gang try to make a name for themselves at the Fujou Academy and in one of their attempts, they put out the fire in the Game Development Club. The members of the club refuse to thank them but instead knock out the two other members of the gang, leaving Kenji to fight for his life. He is then forced to join the club despite having no interest. After a while, he soon realizes that he might actually be enjoying himself being in the club.
13. Grimgar: Asher and Illusions (Hai to Gensou no Grimgar) (2016)
The movie involves the story of a group of strangers who are thrown into a foreign land where they cannot even remember their names. Some of the members of that group later join up with the Reserve Army as a soldier while the others not in the army are part of the team who want to survive.
It started airing in January 2016 and ended in March 2016. The studio in charge was A-1 pictures.
12. High Score Girl (2018)
The story is set in 1991 where arcade games are the most popular thing at the moment. Haruo Yaguchi, a sixth-grader, is interested in becoming a professional gamer after earning respect in local arcades. He has to face off with a classmate, Akira Oono, who is also good and defeats him in Street Fighter 2.
The show aired from July 14, 2018, to September 29, 2018. The studios in charge are J.C. Staff.
11. Overlord (2015)
As the final hour of a virtual reality game beckons, Momonga, a powerful wizard, decides to stay and spend his last few moments in the game before the servers start to shut down. Soon, the time reaches but to his surprise, his character is still conscious, and non-playing characters have now developed personalities of their own. This prompts Momonga to investigate and figure how what caused the development while also taking control of the new world.
It aired in the summer of 2015, starting in July 2015 and ending in September 2015. The studio in charge of the series was Madhouse.
10. The King’s Avatar (2017)
The series follows the story of Ye Xiu, who has been dubbed the “Battle God” following his contribution to an online multiplayer game, Glory. He soon retires and gets a job at an Internet Cafe. During this time, Glory launches their tenth server prompting Ye Xui to dive into the gaming world once again but with a different name, “Lord Grim”. As he is starting afresh and is without sponsors, he still manages to get the attention of players and leave them wondering who the new sensation is.
It aired between April 2017 and June 2017. The studio in charge of the series was B.Cmay Pictures.
9. Log Horizon (2013 – 2014)
The series follows the story of Shiroe, who gets trapped together with thirty thousand others in a game after the latest update failed to log out. Shiroe, a veteran of the game, explores his new reality and teams up with a friend, Naotsugu, who logged in to the game for the first time in years only to get trapped, and Akatsuki, a fierce assassin who labels Shiroe as her master, as they try to make the best of their situation.
It aired between October 2013 and March 2014. The studio in charge of the series was Satelight.
8. Summer Wars (2009)
The series follows the story of Kenji Koiso, who is a math genius and a part-time moderator on OZ, a virtual world connected to the internet where people can do a variety of things including playing sports or shopping. He is invited for a summer trip by his crush, Natsuki Shinohara, and just as they arrive, he gets a coded message on his cell phone from an unknown sender who challenges him to crack the code. He soon does so not knowing he could’ve just put Earth in great danger.
It started airing in August 2009. The studio in charge of the series was Madhouse.
7. No Game No Life (2014)
It aired from April 2014 to June 2014. The studio in charge of the series was MadHouse.
The story follows two siblings, Shiro and Sora, who are an online gaming duo with the username, “Blank”. They soon get to meet the God of Games, Tet, after receiving a strange email challenging them to a chess competition. In Tet’s realm, conflicts are settled with high stake games, and with this, the siblings now have more reason to play games to unite the races in the realm and also defeat Tet.
6. Death Parade (2015)
The anime series is set in a place where after death, there is no hell or heaven, though there is a bar that stands between reincarnation and oblivion. To determine their fate, the deceased people compete in games against each other over a range of sports.
The airing started in January 2015 and ended in March 2015. The studio in charge is Madhouse.
5. Re: Zero – Starting Life In Another World (2016)
The series premiered in April 2016 and ended in September 2016. The studio in charge was White Fox.
The series follows the story of Subaru Natsuki who leaves a convenience store only to be drawn into something of a fantasy world. As he arrives, he is beaten by thugs but is later saved by a girl named Satella, who is in search of the person who stole her insignia. Sabaru joins her search as a way to appreciate her help but they soon get murdered after an attack by a much darker force. Just then, Sabaru wakes up again to the point where he meets the thugs who attacked him at first and the story seems to repeat itself.
4. Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor (2007 – 2008)
It aired between October 2007 and April 2008. The studio in charge of the series is MadHouse.
The series follows Kaiji Itou, a loiterer who spends his day drinking beer and soi g almost nothing. As he’s unable to pay a huge debt he owes his friend, he is offered a shady deal to participate in an illegal gamble holding on a cruise ship. The story follows Kaiji and he learns the hard truths and also tries to survive amidst all the cheating, deceit, and dangers in his newly found journey.
3. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (2014)
The story follows Rin Toosaka, who enters into the fifth Holy Grail War, a competition where seven magi who serve as masters fight off each other with their servants for the ultimate prize of an artifact that has the power to grant its wielder any wish. Rin’s classmate, Emiya, accidentally enters the competition and together with Rin, they must form a temporary alliance to defeat their enemies in a bid to get the prize.
It aired between October 2014 and December 2014. The studio in charge of the series was Ufotable.
2. Welcome to the N.H.K (2006)
The movie is about a 22-year-old college dropout, Tashiro Satou, as he struggles with getting a job and also escaping from the wicked machinations of Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai (N. H. K).
It aired between July 10, 2006, and December 19, 2006. The studios in charge are Gonzo.
1. 3-gatsu No Lion (2016 – 2017)
It aired between October 2016 to March 2017. The studio in charge of the series was Shaft.
The anime series follows the story of Rei Kiriyama who is one of the few elites in the world of shogi. He soon leaves for Tokyo due to pressure he receives from his community as well as wanting to be independent. In Tokyo, he meets three sisters who help him learn how to interact with people and also understand his complex emotions.